Note: Minnesota seems to be going the way of California. Measles madness hits the otherwise logical midwest. The Boston Herald called vaccination choice a "hanging offense." Seems the blue states are seeing red when it comes to medical choice. Very unsettling.
By Anne Dachel
Except for the New American, these are just scripted, emotional stories blaming measles in Minnesota on the FALSE claims of a link between vaccines and autism and the antivaxxers who promote it. Newpapers are like department stores, airlines and banks: there are only a handful left in the country and they share the same basics.
Minnesota is a SOLIDLY Democratic state, and I think they're going to use this measles issue to push for an end to exemptions. It makes sense. It happened in California, another Democratic state, but I don't think that Minnesota will command the attention that California did.
***May 9, 2017, New American: Measles Outbreak Prompts Outrage Against Anti-vaxers
An outbreak of measles amongst a small unvaccinated population in Minnesota could spell trouble for the anti-vax community as it may prompt yet another push for forced vaccinations by vaccine advocates. The media is using the latest outbreak to criticize anti-vax groups and tout the “benefits” of vaccinations, despite the science that links vaccines to a number of long-term health issues.
And whether the CDC can even be considered a trustworthy entity is another issue. According to a controversial 2016 film directed by autism advocate Dr. Andrew Wakefield entitled Vaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe, the CDC was behind a major cover-up of the MMR vaccine’s connection to autism. The documentary is based on revelations by CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson, a former senior scientist at the CDC who admits that the organization destroyed evidence linking the MMR vaccination to autism.
But while Thompson’s revelations were groundbreaking, the mainstream media virtually staged an all-out blackout. Instead, it waits for stories of “measles outbreaks” to launch a media firestorm. ...
May 9, 2017, Philly.com: Health Highlights: May 9, 2017
They said concerns of a link between measles vaccination and autism were stoked by vaccine skeptics.
"What we have now is a community that was really influenced by these anti-vaccine groups. And they've performed a natural experiment: to forgo the measles vaccine based on this propaganda," David Johnson, program manager with the Hennepin County Health Department, told NBC News.
Somali immigrants have been hardest hit in the outbreak.
"We've seen that the vaccine rates in the community that's being affected right now were once about the same or even a little higher than our average. They've dropped to about half of that," Johnson said.
"And unfortunately now we are seeing the result. Measles is spreading rapidly in the community and 11 children are hospitalized. And at the same time there is no evidence of any corresponding drop in autism in the community," he told NBC News.
The only positive aspect of the outbreak is that it shows that anti-vaccine activists are wrong, according to health officials.
May 9, 2017, National Post: Anti-vaxxers converted Minnesota’s Somali community. Now, the state faces historic measles outbreak
May 9, 2017, Slate.com: The Right Should Blame Trump’s Anti-Vaxxer Pals, Not Islam, for a Measles Outbreak in Minnesota
In the midst of the second measles outbreak in the state in six years, Somali immigrants in Minnesota have found themselves caught between a manipulative anti-vaxxer movement and rising anti-immigrant activism in right-wing politics. More than 40 cases of the measles have been reported in the state, home to the largest Somali population in the U.S., in the past month.
The anti-vaxxer streak in Minnesotan Somali communities began around 2008, when parents began expressing worries about the disproportionate number of Somali children in special-education classes. A University of Minnesota study found that Somali children were slightly more likely than white children—and considerably more likely than the general population—to be diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Somali children with autism were significantly more likely to develop intellectual disabilities than autistic children in any other racial or ethnic group.
Because the causes of autism are unknown, there are no satisfactory answers for Somali parents concerned about the wellbeing of their current and future children. Public-health officials say it could be just a “statistical fluke,” as can be the case with clusters of other noncontagious conditions. Other floated explanatory theories, like genetic predisposition, vitamin D deficiency, and intermarriage all fall short of justifying the gap. Communities began calling autism “the American disease,” because there’s no Somali word for autism and the condition is not recognized in Somalia.
May 9, 2017, NBC News Measles Outbreak in Minnesota Caused by Vaccine Skepticswww.nbcnews.com/.../measles-outbreak-minnesota-caused-vaccine-skeptics-n756246
May 9, 2017, CBS News: Why is Minnesota experiencing the worst measles outbreak in nearly 30 years?
May 8, 2017, CNN: Anti-vaccine groups blamed in Minnesota measles outbreak
May 7, 2017, Yahoo News: Anti-vaccers descended on Minnesota and the result is sadly predictable
Vaccines do not cause autism, according to numerous studies that have debunked the perceived links between vaccination and the developmental disorder. Medical experts say there is no debate about the safety of these vaccines.
While it's true that autism prevalence has increased in the U.S. in the last two decades, that doesn't necessarily mean autism is growing worse. A 2015 study found individuals who would have previously been diagnosed with other intellectual disabilities are now being correctly diagnosed with autism.
May 4, 2017, CBS News: Measles outbreak in Minnesota sickens dozens Research that links the vaccine to autism has been widely discredited. But Anab Gulaid, a University of Minnesota researcher who worked on the autism study, said autism is often diagnosed in children around the same age as they receive their measles vaccine, so some fears persist.
"It's an emotional issue for people," she said. …
Evidence-based research has repeatedly shown no relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism, and there should be no hesitations about vaccines, said Patsy Stinchfield, senior director of infection control at Children's Minnesota hospital.
"In medical science, there is no debate about the safety of vaccines," she said.
May 3, 2017, ABC News: Measles outbreak sickens dozens of Minnesota Somalis
Minnesota law requires that a child be vaccinated before enrolling in child care, early education or school. But it also allows exemptions for medical reasons. Research that links the vaccine to autism has been widely discredited. But Anab Gulaid, a University of Minnesota researcher who worked on the autism study, said autism is often diagnosed in children around the same age
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.